Tofu bánh mì with vegan Sriracha mayo

Tofu bánh mì with vegan Sriracha mayo

tofu bahn mi with vegan sriracha mayo mayo lunch

Bánh mì is a brilliant example of colliding food cultures. It owes its familiar form of a crusty baguette to the French, yet its palate-tingling array of complex flavours and textures is totally down to the Vietnamese. If you haven’t had a chance to have one yet, I encourage you to try it, it’s bound to make you grin all the way through your lunchtime!

Although the fillings can vary quite a lot most of them follow a similar pattern apart from an ice-cream version, which does what it says on the tin – a baguette filled with ice cream scoops and sprinkled with crushed peanuts.

Most bánh mìs owe their satisfying bite to a mixture of something ‘chewy’ (in our case it’s seasoned tofu), something ‘sweet and sour’ (pickled carrot and daikon are most commonly used), something crunchy (cucumber or other raw veggies) and something fresh (plenty of coriander) topped with something ‘spicy’ (spicy chilli sauce or vegan sriracha mayo).

It is really hard to describe all these various flavours bouncing off each other in your mouth, so excuse me for a second – I need to take a bite of my Vietnamese sandwich to keep the memory of how good it is alive 🙂 .

tofu bahn mi with vegan sriracha mayo ingredients

tofu bahn mi with vegan sriracha mayo

serves
4
PREP
30 min
COOKING
30 min
serves
4
PREPARATION
30 min
COOKING
30 min
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 long baguette or 4 small ones (GF if gluten intolerant)
  • a wedge of cabbage, sliced finely
  • 2 small cucumbers, ribboned
  • 2 small spring onions
  • small bunch of coriander

PICKLES (make a day ahead if you can)

  • 2 carrots, ribboned / julienned
  • 3 small turnips or 15 radishes, sliced/julienned
  • ½ cup / 120 ml rice vinegar + ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup brown sugar or maple syrup
  • 15 Szechuan (or black) peppercorns
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed with a knife

MARINATED TOFU

SRIRACHA MAYO

  • ¼ cup / 60 ml aquafaba / chickpea water**
  • 4 tsp / 20 ml lime juice (or lemon juice or vinegar)
  • ¼-½ tsp salt, more to taste
  • ¼ tsp powdered garlic, more to taste
  • approx. 1 cup / 240 ml of mild tasting oil (canola, grapeseed, safflower or light olive oil)
  • 4-5 tsp Sriracha
  • pepper, to taste
METHOD
  1. Place carrot, turnip (or radishes) in a sterilised (rinsed with boiling water) jar.
  2. Put rice vinegar, sugar, peppercorns, salt and garlic clove in a small pot and bring to the boil. Continue simmering for about 10 minutes.
  3. Pour hot pickling liquid over raw vegetables. Once the pickling liquid cools down, keep the jar in the fridge.
  4. Mix tofu marinade ingredients: maple syrup, rice vinegar, tamari, Sriracha and sesame oil. Cut pressed tofu into smaller pieces. You can prepare it in two different ways. I like my tofu pan-fried but you can also bake it for a healthier and still very good result. If pan-frying your tofu, sprinkle it lightly with cornflour/cornstarch and fry on a small amount of hot oil until browned on both sides. Blot it with a piece of paper towel after frying. Finally, pour marinade over the tofu to flavour it. If baking, immerse the tofu pieces in prepared marinade and set the oven to 180° C / 355° F. Once the oven is ready, pop marinated tofu pieces onto a paper-lined baking tray and bake for 30-40 minutes. Once baked, apply a second layer of marinade to intensify the flavour.
  5. To make a mayo, put aquafaba, lime juice, salt and garlic powder into a tall container and blend together with an immersion blender. Once combined and slightly frothy, start adding oil very slowly while blending at the same time. It should be literally trickled in (rather than poured in) so that the mayo starts to emulsify properly. Once your mayo gets all thick and creamy, season it with Sriracha, pepper and extra salt if needed. Refrigerate it (to thicken it further) while you assemble your sandwich.
  6. Cut baguettes into small pieces and toast them lightly under a grill. Fill them with a layer of pickled vegetables, fresh cucumber, shredded cabbage, spring onions, tofu and fresh coriander. Top with a dollop of Sriracha mayo before closing the sandwich.

NOTES
*To press the tofu without a tofu press, wrap your tofu in a paper towel, place it on a plate and weigh it down with something heavy (like a can of coconut milk, for example). Once the paper towel becomes wet, change it for a new one. Repeat a few times until the paper towel stays almost dry. Pressed tofu is tastier as it absorbs flavours better.

**Aquafaba (AF) or bean brine is leftover cooking water from cooking most legumes. I use chickpea water and have not tried using any other type yet. You can get it from a can of low sodium chickpeas or make your own. In this recipe, I used tinned AF, but when making sweet recipes I always make my own to avoid added salt. When making your aquafaba, soak dry chickpeas in lots of water overnight, rinse and put in a large pot with lots of water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 1 hour (until beans are soft). Remove cooked chickpeas with a slotted spoon and what’s left in your pot is aquafaba. If it is too runny (ideally it should resemble egg whites), you can concentrate it a bit by simmering it on a low heat (without a lid) until it reaches the desired consistency. Cool it down before using.

My vegan mayo recipe is inspired by this recipe.

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NUTRITIONAL INFO
calories
379
19%
sugars
23 g
25%
fats
6 g
9%
saturates
2 g
8%
proteins
19 g
38%
carbs
62 g
24%
*per serving
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5.0
2 reviews, 16 comments
REVIEWS & QUESTIONS
Emma Faucher:
This recipe is sooooo delicious! Thank you Ania. Love from Quebec
    Ania
    Ania:
    My pleasure, Emma! Thank you for taking the time to rate the recipe - much appreciated! Ania
Kelly Aldrich:
This was so delicious! I will definitely make it again!
    Ania
    Ania:
    I'm delighted to hear that, Kelly!
Erika:
I’m confused about the vegetable pickling. You don’t say anything about what to do with them once you immerse them in the liquid.....how long do you boil it for? Do you take it out and refrigerate it?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Erika,
    The idea is that you pour boiling pickling liquid over the vegetables and you keep them in this liquid (in a jar, in the fridge) for as long as you need. They are ready to be eaten straight away, but the flavour will be better if you make them a day in advance. Sorry if I didn't explain myself more clearly, I will amend the instructions now. Ania
Aimee / Wallflower Girl's Kitchen:
Oh my goodness, this sounds amazing! Love the idea of using aquafaba to make mayo!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks, Amiee! It's great, isn't it? And it's super easy too - it's less temperamental than traditional mayo, I would say.
Maikki | Maikin mokomin:
Those baguettes look so delicious! They would be perfect portable lunch :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Maikki! I haven't tested portability aspect yet as I wasn't able to resist eating straight after making them :) .
Thalia @ butter and brioche:
Yum! Love Banh Mi, especially your version - it looks so vibrant and delicious.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much, Thalia! So pleased to hear! x
Allie | In This Kitchen:
These look so, so good - I LOVE Banh Mi. Your photos are super good too!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you so much, Allie!
Julie:
I love Banh Mi, thanks for the detailed explanation of the components and making it healthier! I'm not an intuitive cook and really appreciate the instruction. Question about the mayo and the pickles- how long will they safely last in the fridge?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Julie, I'm glad that you are finding the recipe helpful. I would say that pickles can probably stay in the fridge for at least a month as vinegar and salt preserve them very well - just make sure they are completely immersed in the pickling liquid. As for the mayo, not sure yet. Mine has been in my fridge for over a week now and I enjoyed it with my lunch today. I reckon 2 weeks should be safe.
    Hope that helps a little,
    Ania
Tina:
This looks so yummy - and really so simple - thank you :D
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much, Tina. I'm pleased to hear that.
    BTW, I checked out your blog and absolutely love your anteaters - they are adorable! x
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